Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Law Enforcement Immersive Training Bill
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) introduced the Law Enforcement Immersive Training Act of 2019 (H.R. 2329). The bill would require the U.S. Department of Justice to create an immersive, real-life, scenario-based training curriculum to address key issues raised by law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. These include improving community-police relations, officer safety and resilience, situational awareness, physical and emotional responses to stress, critical decision-making and problem-solving, de-escalation and use of force, and crisis intervention. The bill would also create a grant program to support public and private entities that train law enforcement officers using a substantially similar immersive curriculum. The FOP and NAACP have both endorsed the legislation. To view the full text of the bill, click here.
“Trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect is an absolute necessity. It makes citizens feel respected, officers feel supported, and allows communities to work together to fight crime and keep everyone safe. Across the country, we have seen what happens when that trust is tested or broken. Unfortunately, the lack of standardized police training can lead to negative outcomes for officers and citizens,” said Congressman Ryan. “Policing is a difficult job, and law enforcement training should reflect and prepare officers for the unique challenges of 21st century policing. All officers—in departments large and small, rural and urban—should have access to the state-of-the-art immersive training that saves lives and rebuilds trust. This bill is an important step toward addressing related concerns and finding common ground.”
“This training will not only better equip officers to ensure their own safety, but it will enhance their ability to serve and protect their communities by using current immersive technology to better prepare officers for real-life situations on the beat. This kind of training will improve officer safety, de-escalation, and community-police relations,” said Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.
“The NAACP strongly supports the Law Enforcement Immersive Training Act,” said Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and the Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy. “We are very appreciative of all of the hard work Congressman Ryan and others have put forth to ensure that law enforcement officers receive training on the culture of the communities with whom they interact. The majority of law enforcement officers are hard working men and women, whose concern for the safety of those they are charged with protecting and serving is often paramount, even when their own lives are on the line. However, if and when even one of their colleagues engages in unethical or problematic behavior, whether it be conscious or subconscious, the trust of the entire community can be, and will be, lost. The result can only lead to trouble for the communities and the officers. This training will go a long way in ensuring smooth, mutually beneficial relations.”